FEB 2018 – 10 Miles – HELM CRAG (LAKE DISTRICT)

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Total Distance: 10 Miles
Highest Point: 1800 Feet
Total Realistic Time: ~8 Hours

Helm Crag is a fell in the English Lake District situated in the Central Fells to the north of Grasmere. Despite its low height it sits prominently at the end of a ridge, easily seen from the village. This, combined with the distinctive summit rocks which provide the alternative name ‘The Lion and the Lamb’, makes it one of the most recognised hills in the District.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helm_Crag

Helm Crag
Helm Crag starting in Grasmere

Car parking in Grasmere for up to 10 hours was £7 if you cannot find free parking area.  If you need to go to the toilet before starting the hike, the toilet is located near the start of the hike – warning: costs 20p to use the toilets for the up keep of them.

The hike started with a steep climb of continuous stone steps, if you prefer there is an alternate route which takes you around to avoid the steep climb.  For the fit and for anyone who want a challenge, taking the steep climb up it is worth it for the views just getting to the top of the initial climb.

The weather turned out to be amazing for the time of year, end of February.  We were wrapped up for the cold, wind, rain, best to be prepared.  No rain was encountered throughout the 12 mile hike, just amazing clear blue sky and clear views around Loughrigg Tarn.  There were areas of the hike which were still covered with snow and ice, this was very much welcome as it would have been quite boggy in those areas if it had not been for the snow or ice.

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Some areas of snow and ice can be seen where we are headed

The hike at times we got pretty warm and had to remove a layer due to the steep climbs, but you did have to put the layer back on, in the higher areas you can feel a little chill.

Most of the hike you could see a clear trail to follow, however some areas where the snow or ice lay you could easily miss the path and some areas it was knee deep snow, so need to be extra vigilant at this time of year.

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Clear views of Thirlmere Reservoir in the distance

For a Sunday hike it was surprisingly quiet, there were a handful of people who were prepared for the brisk chill walk, it was really worth it for the unbelievable clear views.

Here are two panoramic views I took to try and highlight the beauty of the landscape, but really you have to be there.

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Version 2

The hike consisted of steep hills up and down, some scrambling involved, worked many parts of your body.  We did a bit of trail running going down some of the grassy steep hills which helped our knees.

We finished in good time with plenty of daylight left at 4pm.  A deserved rest and refuel at Greens cafe in Grasmere Village, tea and toasted buttered tea cake to finish the hike.

EQUIPMENT

  • Camelbak Backpack
  • Apple iPhone 7 for taking the photos
  • Salomon Women’s Eclipse GTX Walking Shoes
  • Finisterre Thermal Long Pants
  • North Face Walking Trousers
  • SealSkins Waterproof Socks (worked a treat, my feet were bone dry throughout)
  • Marmot Polartec Hooded Fleece
  • Jack Wills Merino Wool Jumper
  • North Face Woolly Neck Scarf
  • North Face Woolly Hat
  • Touch Gloves (so you can use the iPhone’s touch screen to take photos without having to remove your gloves)
  • Spare North Face Fleeced Gloves (in case the weather turns)
  • Modetro Sports Knee Support (for left knee)
  • Buff Neck Scarf (Christmas present from my nephew – worked a treat)
  • Icebreaker Merino Wool T-Shirt
  • Women’s Montane Atomic Waterproof Jacket
  • Torch
  • Portable Anker Charger (to charge the iPhone)

FOOD AND DRINK

  • 1 Litre of Bottled Water
  • 1 x 500ml Flask with Black Coffee
  • Chicken, Tomato with Pasta in Pesto Sauce
  • Dried Peaches
  • Dried Pineapple
  • Homemade Coconut Flapjacks
  • Fruit Bars
  • Chocolate Mini Eggs
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Oats & Dark Chocolate bars

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